For over a hundred years, wild chickens have been hatching eggs in Ybor City.
The first Ybor City residents brought the chickens from Key West when they moved here to work in factories. The birds were used as pets, food sources and entertainment.
According to the Ybor Chickens Society , there are about 150 chickens in Ybor, but that number fluctuates throughout the year.
Remember! Don’t egg these chickens on, they’re protected under Tampa’s Bird Sanctuary Law, which prohibits the chickens to be trapped, hurt, maimed or killed. Any and all birds in Tampa city limits are covered by this law.
There are several types of chickens in Ybor, but we won’t know for sure until Michigan State University conducts a genetic study on the birds later this summer.
“These chickens roam all over Ybor City, and some other parts of Tampa I’m told,” said Dylan Breese, founder of Ybor Chickens Society. “They are territorial and communal, so they like to stay in their zones.”
These chickens might feel a little scared since they’re frequently chased, but don’t forget, they know how to ruffle some feathers.
“Until they're comfortable with you, they like to keep a safe distance,” said Breese. “Chickens have been one of the most lasting legacies of Ybor’s past and it’s a way for this neighborhood to stay connected to its roots. There’s a lot of people who love them and work hard to care for them.”
If you would like to get involved and help the chickens of Ybor City, visit the YCS website at yborchickens.org .
Maybe you’ll find the answer to the age-old question: Why did the chicken cross the road?